Does anyone else find themselves watching/living your LOs decline and think, "I'm going to start hoarding pills!" "I hope I get hit by a bus." "I hope someone will smother me with a pillow". I just don't want to suffer in decline. Incontinence. Others making all my decisions. I don't want my children to have to deal with 'that' me. It's so hard. I get so frustrated and angry and feel like my 'empty nest' has been stolen from my hubby and me. I do not want my own children to feel that way. It's crushing.

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Well, old age - I am here and it is not that bad. I turned 80 about a month ago. I think cwillie nailed it when she said "I'm not sure mom finds her life nearly as distressing as I do".

My mother is wheelchair and bed bound. Nobody wants that for themselves or anyone else, but she is well cared for and not in pain. Old age and its issues will happen if you survive long enough. Nasty diseases can hit at any age. 

My plan for the future is to downsize, and eventually go into assisted living and then NH as needed. My kids will be as involved as they want to be, but, I will work at not burdening them.

I try to look after what I have and make the best of my life. I remember years ago wondering what my life would be at age 80, if I made it. It is nothing like what I thought it would be. It is more interesting. On turning 80, I decided to give up some things and among them is worrying about/being afraid of the future. I will keep learning, trying new things, working to keep myself fit and healthy as long as I can. I wouldn't sky dive at any age, but would love under water experiences. Practice your Kegels, eat sensibly, exercise as you can... look after you.
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Grappling with old age is an interesting experience. The main problem is that I think I am still middle aged and can do anything I want but my body has decided otherwise. Unlike Golden I will not reach 80 for another 15 months but then I never expected to live past 70 as none of my mother's family did. It is somewhat annoying not to be able to follow through with projects I have ideas for but on the other hand it is rather nice to sit in my recliner and talk to my aging care friends!
Old age caught up with me a couple of years ago when I became seriously ill and body parts have been falling apart steadily since then. I was invited to sign a DNR on the operating table and later offered hospice. Despite many attempts by the medical profession to kill me I am still here and as onary as ever.

Right now I need to make it through to February to prove that everyone who is elderly does not die within a year of breaking a hip!

Incontinence what a delightful subject. It is horrible when you are the one on the cleaning up end but can be quite comforting when you suddenly sit in a warm pile of poop and someone else needs to clean it up. I told the nurse I was sorry but I just could not wait. She assured me she would rather clean me up than pick me up off the floor. I hasten to add that I am now over that little inconvenience.

I would like to be able to do more of the things I want to do but that does not include cooking dinner every night. Food has absolutely no interest to me these days except the occasional treat of pickled herring (in sour cream) or good smoked salmon (at $40 a pound) and some good fruit mainly grapes these days.

What would I like to do? High on the list at this moment is gardening. my flower beds have not been touched in two summers and the weeds are unbelievable. Hubby mows but does not do weeds. I don't care that I can no longer do housework. Used to be very houseproud but once we got into the horse business my barn was cleaner than the house.

I have always enjoyed my own company so it is no hardship not to be able to go out and "enjoy" life. In fact I find it quite distressing to be in a crowded restaurant.

As far as having any of my children have to take care of me. I certainly would not want to place that burden on any of them but luckily our eldest has been successful in her career and would be happy to help us financially if needed.

Should I outlive my husband which is unlikely as his family has good long life genes I would be quite satisfied with assisted living.

Old age is not that bad as long as you recognize it for what it is - just another stage in life's cycle.

Look to the future with optimism,enjoy the things you can still do, downsize your expectations and be grateful for what you do have.
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I think about this every day, as the dreaded family curse of arthritis is really causing me some miserable days--and that's just mild joint pain!!

My hubby also is giving me a lot of grief about downsizing--but I also am doing it and he can come with me or not. He's not the one inconvenienced by the 4 staircases in our home and the laundry downstairs and the huge yard. He also said "what's the big deal? When I retire, so do you!" Nope, actually my job will get about 50% "worse" when he's home all day.

We're not ready for IL but we are more than ready for one-level living and for a garage that hold BOTH cars. Many a snowy winter day I have to dig out my driveway and THEN my car to go somewhere. ALso, in a split entry home? You'd be totally trapped if you couldn't do stairs.

This is NOT my kids' problem and I don't intend to make it be so.
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With the recent passing of my FIL IN my home on Hospice (6 &1/2 weeks) his hospitalization before that, and the previous 13 years he lived with us until he died at 87, Yes, I think of the alot recently!!!

I would Never do to my children, what my FIL expected out of us, it's just so incredibly selfish, to do this to your middle aged kids!

Yes, there are circumstances where the parent may need to come and live with you for a time, during illness, or Hospice, and I would do that again, and feel good about the way we took care of him, but all those years and years of imposing on your child's life, and without a thought of the inconvenience of it all, him thinking he was doing us a favor by paying 500 dollars rent each month, while you provide 2 meals a day, and take care of his every need!

No, I Will find an alternative route for the end of My life, and it won't be on the backs of my kids lives, even as great as they are, all Saying it would be their honor and duty, uhh-uhh, as it soon transitions into feelings of resentment and sacrifice, and I could never wish to do that to someone else! I'll happily go to a Nursing home, or hopefully the new laws of Death with Dignity will become a much more acceptable way to go, that gives Me the control over my end of life, that doesn't end up Leaving my LO's racked with guilt, as I would never want that for them.

I guess it's time for me to really begin concentrating on my own good health (I'm 57), so the days of having to even think about this are still a long ways off, but you just never know anymore when something might happen to you, and I know that I'll be thinking on this as our experience is still so raw and fresh, as we try to find our new normal after so many years caring for my FIL in our home, may he rest in peace.
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My main worry is that my sig other will refuse to downsize and not move into Independent Living, he's already digging in his heels even after seeing what my very elderly parents went through :P Guess no lessons learned on his part. Anyhoo, I plan to downsize whether he comes with me or not.
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Hugemom, no need to worry about me. It's just that I'm face to face with what could possibly be my future. I'm not enjoying this side of it and it's plain that my in-laws are hating it with all their being. I just find myself hoping that, as my dad used to say, "I just want to wake up dead one morning." The suffering and mental decline is hard on everyone involved.
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I have already determined that when my big place with lots of stairs and land gets to be too much for me, I will move to IL in a place that has the full spectrum of care. I have long term care insurance so if physical disabilities get the best of me I will be able to afford some good options. My kids are wonderful, but their personalities do not lend themselves to being long term caretakers.

Our state has a Death with Dignity law, which my father took advantage of when his cancer progressed. It was a real blessing for him and the family - he had a peaceful death surrounded by loved ones. I will likely use if I get an illness qualifies. I don't want to put myself or my loved ones through what my MIL had to go through at the end of her life. No dignity, and all her energy went into dealing with the pain and difficulties of dealing with a failing body so she wasn't even able to have meaningful time at the end with family. And I think that if I am diagnosed with dementia, I plan to take some sort of action. I really wish Death with Dignity included dementia diagnoses, which are fatal diagnoses but not within the 6 month time frame that Death with Dignity requires.

To me, quality of life means a lot. I have dealt with some chronic illnesses over the years, and it is very very hard. But have managed to address them so now my quality of life has improved a lot. If I were to develop something that didn't have the option of improvement, I really don't want to hang around.
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my experience echos what cwillie said: I'm not sure my mother finds this phase of her life anywhere near as distressing as I do. The effort it costs her to get up out of a chair, to get into and out of the car, and her need to rely on other people for everything, that would horrify me. But her, not so much. If anything, she seems to take comfort in having an excuse to keep people around and tending to her constantly. She doesn't want to be alone, and her helplessness ensures she never will be left alone. Someone is with her or a quick phone call away at all times.

I don't have kids, but I would never set my life up to depend on unpaid others to take care of my needs in a way that would keep them tethered to me for extended periods of time. It's one thing in a crisis - it's another when the crisis extends into months and years and still people are not free to go back to their own lives. It is an imposition and I would never want to be the one responsible for it.
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At 60 I don't feel like I'm slowing down at all. The problem remains with my 84 year old mother, who I have recently moved in with. I have no husband or children, I have 1 brother who is wheelchair bound with MS, I won't ever have any help with any care in my future. My dad at 87 is in a nursing home facility suffering with Alzheimer's. I'm working with my mom to try and downsize from he split level home to perhaps a mobile home community, the biggest problem has been with many of the retirement communities and the outrages cost to live in one, we've checked out several in the area. The next big headache is cleaning out my parents home with over 60 years of crap stored in every nook and cranny. There's so much on my plate, and I have zero help with any of it, all this may kill me before old age does.
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I have chosen to hit the road for the rest of my life. I will make sure that I am not found until it is too late.

The family has always will live forever if you survive the first heart attack. So,I hope that is my "out"
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